Archive for the ‘ ~2 to 3 Miles~ ’ Category

Underwoods Pond – Burrillville

  • Underwoods Pond – George Washington Management Area
  • Olney Keach Road, Burrillville, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°57’10.13″N, 71°44’46.02″W
  • Last Time Hiked: January 14, 2017
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.9 miles
  • Moderate.

 

The roads less traveled, literally. The George Washington Management Area is known for its miles and miles of hiking trails, but in the extreme eastern section of the area are the roads less traveled. For this hike we ventured out to complete a loop of the gravel roads behind Grace Note Farm and a quick visit to a lesser known pond. The first challenge of this hike was parking as there is no designated parking spots. The spot I chose is about three tenths of a mile along Olney Keach Road, a very bumpy and rocky road, at the intersection of the Richardson Trail. There is a small spot here to pull over and park. If you choose to park either here or along Jackson Schoolhouse Road be sure not to block any of the intersections and stay well to the edge of the road. From our parking spot we hiked southerly along Olney Keach Road passing the first of many small babbling brooks. The rocky dirt road then climbed uphill before coming to an intersection. Here we turned right onto Ross Trail. Soon we passed a red gate and entered the management area. We passed some more small streams and brooks before coming to an open sandy area. Continue ahead and the trail becomes more defined. Soon another intersection appears. The trail to the right leads to the Richardson Trail. Continue ahead here and the trail will turn to the south and climb up and over two impressive hills before ending. Near the top of the hills are areas of low ground cover and shrubs ideal for birds. In fact, we caught a glimpse of a woodpecker near the end of the Ross Trail. If you were to turn right at the end of the trail you would soon cross the orange blazed Walkabout Trail, but for this hike turn left and follow the Center Trail east to its intersection with Olney Keach Road. Along the way you will pass more small streams and a boulder field to the right. When reaching Olney Keach Road stay to the right for now. The road to your left you will use to get back to the car, but first you will want to see Underwoods Pond. Following Olney Keach Road south for a few hundred yards you will soon come upon a small wood bridge and a deep freshwater pond to the right. This spot makes for a good break as the sound of running water over a small dam makes for a soothing sound. From here retrace your steps north along the road and continuing straight along Olney Keach Road. You will notice a house to the right. This is private property and please respect that. The friendly owner did greet us though and told us to enjoy ourselves on our hike. Next we passed the Ross Trail on the left made our way downhill and back to the car. There are no hiking blazes along these trails, but there are several markers on trees and flagging presumably from horse back riders from the nearby Grace Note Farm, hunters, and cyclists. Hunting is allowed here so orange clothing is required during hunting season. It is advisable to use GPS while hiking in this area.

 

Trail map can be found at: Underwoods Pond

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Underwoods Pond

River Bend Farm – Uxbridge

  • River Bend Farm – Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park
  • Oak Street, Uxbridge, MA
  • Trailhead: 42° 5’38.86″N, 71°37’25.49″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 22, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.2 miles
  • Easy.

 

The big red barn and the wooden bridge over the canal are one of New England’s best known sights. In the barn, once part of a diary farm, is a rather impressive visitors center that has exhibits that explain the history of the area. For this hike, the second of four planned here, we followed the towpath from the covered bridge south to the Stanley Woolen Mill. The towpath follows the canal that was once used to transport goods from Worcester to Providence along the banks of the Blackstone River. Before taking this walk obtain a pamphlet (the one with the numbers in it) at the visitor center and take it with you. Along the walk you will find signposts with corresponding numbers on them. Be sure to take a peek at the river it self. This section of the towpath is a little over a mile long one way, flat, and is suitable for walkers and strollers.

 

Trail maps can be found at: River Bend Farm

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Towpath Along The Canal

Hayfield – Foster

  • Hayfield Property
  • Winsor Road, Foster, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°50’25.24″N, 71°43’46.86″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 10, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.2 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

Just opposite pole number 54 along Winsor Road, is the trailhead to one of Foster Land Trust’s newest blazed trail systems. The property consists of three blazed trails, the yellow blazed Hayfield Trail, the blue blazed Pasture Trail, and the aptly named orange blazed Rocky Trail. The property also has several unmarked trails that reach into the nearby D.E.M. Property. The ruins of a mill and the nearby stone walls are a highlight near the Ponagansett River. There is also a large open field among the forest of maples, oaks, and beech trees scattered with boulders. Hunting is allowed on nearby properties, wearing orange is advisable during hunting season.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Hayfield

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Ponagansett River

Matteson Plain – Exeter/West Greenwich

  • Matteson Plain – Arcadia Wildlife Management Area
  • Matteson Plain Road, Exeter, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°35’53.32″N, 71°42’37.66″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 21, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.8 miles
  • Moderate.

 

This hike, relatively short in distance, can be quite challenging due to footing. Starting from a parking area near the end of Frosty Hollow Road (Straight ahead as Frosty Hollow Road ends at Austin Farm Road), first pass the gate and then head north on Matteson Plain Road. The first mile of this hike climbs uphill, into West Greenwich, on the old road that is predominantly loose stone and gravel passing Newman Trail on the right. Along the way on the left you will notice several “No Trespassing” signs. This is the Camp-E-Hunt-Tee property and is not open to the public. At the top of the hill (around the one mile mark) you will notice yellow blazes indicating a turn to the right. Follow the yellow blazes. This is part of the Breakheart Trail and will lead you to the Newman Trail. This segment is all down hill and tends to be a little rocky. It is much easier footing than the first mile. Stay on the yellow blazed trail when you come to the trail crossing at the small footbridge. Ahead you will see some stone walls and eventually a trickling brook. The yellow blazed Breakheart Trail turns left at the north end of Breakheart Pond. Take a quick peek. It is a nice view, but you will be turning right here (west) onto Newman Trail. Now heading west you will first pass the Hicks Trail to the left, continue straight. You will soon pass another trail from the right, again continue straight. Soon you will see a hill ahead of you. There should be a trail to your left here. Turn left and take it. It is unmarked, lesser traveled, and leads through a beautiful fern covered forest back into Exeter and to the parking area.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Matteson Plain

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Matteson Plain Road at Breakheart Trail

World War I Memorial Park – North Attleborough

  • World War I Memorial Park/Harold Burns Wildlife Arboretum
  • Elmwood Street, North Attleborough, MA
  • Trailhead: 41°59’49.67″N, 71°18’51.45″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 17, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.2 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

North Attleborough’s largest park offers a zoo, playgrounds, ball fields, gardens, picnic grounds, disc golf, and about 2 miles of trails. Starting from the parking lot in the back of the park, first follow the yellow blazed trail west towards the baseball fields. Follow the tree line to the last field. The yellow blazed trail enters the woods just behind the backstop. The yellow blazed trail then winds throughout the west end of the park and the abutting Harold Burns Memorial Wildlife Arboretum. The yellow trail soon comes to the road where you want to turn right. From here follow the walking lane along the road as it sweeps to the left. Soon you will see a sign on a tree indicating the beginning of the Balancing Rock Trail. Turn here and follow the trail to see some impressive boulders. At the end of the trail turn right and follow the white blazed trail. It leads down to the power lines and turns right before entering the woods once again. Next you will catch a glimpse of the disc golf before exiting onto a stone road along another set of power lines. Stay to the right here and follow the road to its end (crossing a street as well). The now stone and gravel road turns to dirt as it bends right and into the parking lot where your car is parked.

 

Trail maps can be found at: World War I Memorial Park

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Balancing Rock

Borders Farm – Foster

 

Not for sale – This quaint farm in central Foster has been in the Borders Family since 1923. Two years later Charles Borders was born here on the farm. He lived here all of his life passing away in 2013. In his later years, Charles and his wife Margery, made plans to make sure that this farm would not be sold for any future development. Today Borders Farm is preserved as a working farm by Borders Farm Preservation, Inc. The property includes the old farmhouse that was built in 1849, as well as a barn. There are several fields with vegetable gardens and hay. The property is on both sides of North Road and there is also a significant amount of wooded area. In recent years a trail system has been developed here by Troop 2 of East Greenwich. Starting from a small grass parking area at the farmhouse follow North Road west passing the next house (number 38). Along the way you will pass a few stone walls and old farm fences. After passing the house you want to turn right at the second path. When you get to the open field stay to the right and follow the perimeter of the field. You will notice red blazes on the trees. Following the blazes will lead you around two fields and a small pond before exiting back out on North Road. Turning left onto the road, you will walk several hundred feet before you turn right onto a trail that follows the edge of a fenced animal pen. The trail is still red blazed and will lead you pass and through more farm fields, a spring, and a large wooded area. There are some benches along the way if you choose to take a break. The trail leads you back to the road where you turn right and retrace your steps back to the farm house. The trails are open to the public year round, but the farmhouse and barn (future museum) are only open once a month. Check their website for more information. There are also more trails on the property and they may be developed in the future, including a spur trail to connect out to Balcom Road, where the North South Trail passes the farm.

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Farmhouse

Poquetanuck Cove – Ledyard

  • Poquetanuck Cove Preserve
  • Avery Hill Road, Ledyard, CT
  • Trailhead: 41°28’30.42″N, 72° 2’37.51″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 6, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.0 miles
  • Fairly easy with some significant elevation.

 

This white blazed lollipop loop trail sits on a rather unique piece of property owned by the Nature Conservancy. The property stretches from Avery Hill Road to the shores of the Thames River at Poquetanck Cove. Native Americans once camped and harvested oysters on this property. Though dry at the time of this hike, there is a stream that runs downhill to the cove. There is also an abundance of stone walls on the property that the white blazed trail weaves through. The trail becomes rather narrow above and along the shore line. There are several types of trees here including beech and hemlocks as well as mountain laurel shrubs. At the time of this hike there was evidence of a forest fire. It seems that maybe it was a year or two ago. In this area the forest floor is still just about bare.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Poquetanuck Cove Preserve

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Poquetanuck Cove